Saturday, May 7, 2016

Gaining the weight back?

Having lived most of my adult life battling the bulge, I am glad to say it's a nice place to be on the other side.  That said, I am still very conscious of what I eat and I exercise regularly.  I have not stopped to just "enjoy the roses," so to speak.  The journey to lose weight has become my lifestyle now.  It's not about losing weight anymore, it's about being healthy.

Since last November, when I was riding my bike pretty regularly, I have gained back 10 lbs.  It seems like this is where my body is most comfortable.  I am happy with my weight and how I feel right now.  I know I can't go to sleep at the wheel, though.  Eating right, watching my calories and macros, exercising, drinking water...this is key to maintaining my weight.  As I ride my bike more and more this spring and summer, I may lose those 10 lbs. again, I may not.  I'm not too worried about it either way.

What concerns me is the notion that you are doomed to gain the weight back.  So why bother even trying?  This week, the NY Times published this article, "After 'The Biggest Loser'."  It describes the sad tale of how participants in NBC's Biggest Loser show gain most of the weight back after being on the show.  It dares to imply that your resting metabolic rate slows down after losing weight.

So, let me be clear, and I am no expert, so take what I say as you please. Losing weight means changing your lifestyle.

This means changing the way you eat, drink, and exercise.  But it also means changing the way you think about food.  If you get careless, you can't be surprised to see the scale change.  If you take shortcuts, the same holds true.

If you go BACK to the way you lived before you lost the weight, you WILL gain the weight back.  You will.  I can guarantee that.  If you maintain your NEW way of living, if it truly is a lifestyle change, then you don't need to fret about gaining the weight back.

It is important to weigh yourself weekly.  Monitor changes and make adjustments to your caloric intake accordingly.  Do not starve yourself to lose 5-10 lbs. really fast.  Cutting back like that will mess with your metabolism.  Your weight will fluctuate every day, so weighing in daily can lead to unbalance in your perspective of weight.
Keep your physical activity up.  If you have a busy week, make sure you include some quick workouts to your schedule. It is okay to allow one rest day and to shorten your workouts, during busy times.  Skipping workouts on a regular basis leads to a slippery slope, one that can be avoided.  Take a 30 minute walk, go to the gym and do 30 - 45 minutes of exercise.  Most of my workouts are 60 minutes long, but when I am in a time crunch, the corners I cut are the amount of time I exercise, not the entire notion of exercise.  A 30 minute bike ride is better than no bike ride at all...

So, I ask you again, why bother trying?  My life has changed completely.  Losing weight has given me freedom to try new things, to meet new people, to enjoy life in a way I never imagined.  I am free from chronic pain and fatigue.  I have a new bounce in my step.  It's worth it.  It is.

Question for you:  (Answer in the comments below.)
Tomorrow is Mother's Day...what are your plans?

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